BOARDING MASTER ACCUSED OF CHILD MOLESTATION
Several schoolgirls aged between 16 and 17 at Shadishadi primary school in Kweneng District have accused their former Boarding Master, Othusitse Tlhowe of sexual abuse.
The damning allegations of mass child molestation leveled at Tlhowe surfaced in a highly candid document obtained by the Voice Newspaper this week.
The document titled, “Preliminary Report on Sexual Abuse of Hostel Girls Alleged towards the Boarding Master – O. Tlhowe” contains details of the boarding master’s alleged sexual misconduct.
The report chronicles several incidents in which Tlhowe is said to have abused his position of trust and care as a boarding master and inappropriately behaved sexually towards girls aged between 16 and 17.
The school head, Cecilia Mogotlhwane, who commenced her tenure on April 20, 2015, compiled the report.
Upon assuming her responsibilities, the school head quickly observed stark abnormalities pertinent to the welfare of children in the hostels, which caused her to take action.
In unison with the school’s management she proceeded to carry out an extensive investigation, which includes written statements by the children, involved, teachers, night watchmen, parents, social workers and hostel staff.
In one exceptionally frank interview, a Standard 7 teacher, imply referred to as Rankwane, confirms he has indeed heard of cases of child molestation in the school.
The report states that; “One of the children in his (Rankwane’s) class told him that Jane Doe (names changed to protect the identity of the child) aged 16 went to the BM’s (Boarding Master’s) house to ask for permission to go to Mogabetlwane to collect glycerin from her sister. When she got there Tlhowe touched her unacceptably and she came out crying. Jane Doe went to Mogabetlwane by bus on Saturday morning and was absent for three days. When she came back the teacher asked her to confirm the hearsay and she narrated the same story.”
In another forthright interview contained in the report, this time with a social worker assigned to the case, she reveals that it is not the first time allegations of this sort have arisen against Tlhowe.
When probed if this was the first incident she had heard of she replied; “No, something of this nature came up sometime in 2014 and it was investigated by the police”
The interviewer goes on to ask who was involved in the 2014 case to which the social worker responds; “The same person was involved. The boarding master [Tlhowe]”
Perhaps the most damning interview enclosed in the report is the one, which the school head, conducted on the 19th of November 2015 in which she explicitly states that she is of the belief that sexual molestation has transpired in the school. (See full transcript below)
Station Commander of Sojwe Police, Goubert Montshokome, confirmed that a case against Tlhowe had indeed been lodged and that he was arrested and released on bail.
He elucidated further by stating that; “Trial dates have not been set yet as examinations of scientific evidence are still ongoing which will ascertain trial dates.”
Tlhowe is no longer an employee of the school and his comment could not be obtained at time of print.